Thursday, September 6, 2012

Denver billionaire might buy Gazette

Posted by on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 3:04 PM

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The big news today comes via a story by the Denver Business Journal, saying conservative Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz — who bought The Broadmoor a year ago — is either interested in acquiring the Gazette, or starting a competing daily newspaper.

It wouldn't exactly be a first for Anschutz: In the deal that brought The Broadmoor, he also acquired the Oklahoman, in Oklahoma City, and already owns Clarity Media Group, which operates content-farm examiner.com, among other properties.

"The only thing I can tell you is that we've had some of our people on the ground in Colorado Springs investigating buying or starting a paper there," the DBJ quotes Clarity president, and former Denver Post publisher, Ryan McKibben as saying. He added: "At this point, what I can tell you is we've had folks on the ground there for some time exploring buying or building a paper in Colorado Springs."

In our Wednesday story about the new direction the Gazette could take, we noted that Freedom Communications owner Aaron Kushner has made it clear that the sale of our daily is a real possibility.

As a related side note, we did hear from Freedom Communications' spokesman Eric Morgan after our print deadline, in response to the question of what the company will focus on, and how stories will be treated in print versus on the web. He wrote:

"You will see a more diligent focus on print-exclusive and print-first stories throughout the week to offer additional value for subscribers, but not at the expense of what is covered on gazette.com and the app.

"The newsroom is using the same decision-making process regarding which articles will post digitally, and many articles will continue to appear online first. There’s no token rule that says the main Sunday story will not appear online, or that the bulk of stories throughout the week must appear in the newspaper first."

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